A Small Town’s Big Success

Growing up in Antioch proved to be instrumental in this Sequoit alumnus’s future success.

Since 2007, Sequoit Alumnus Tommy Freeman has been making a name for himself. Freeman graduated from Antioch Community High School with no plan, but full of aspirations to be an artist. Following his artistic motivation, Freeman found his unexpected future as a worldwide graphic designer.

Antioch can be compared to the famous saying, “good things come in small packages.” With a population of roughly 15,000, the quaint town of Antioch has been producing prideful citizens, with even more successful students. Antioch may be small, but for many Sequoit Alumni such as Tommy Freeman, this town has been a blessing.

Graduating in 2007, Freeman left his legacy at ACHS with a mind full of artful wonders. Not being the sharpest needle in the haystack academically, Freeman focused on his one true passion: art. Doodling more than note taking in most of his classes, he made sure to follow his dream. Although unsure of his future, he knew it would involve art.

While at ACHS he found a teacher who advocated for him: Toni Leprich. ACHS takes pride in providing a positive, success-building community, and Leprich provided that for him. It was important for Freeman to take Leprich’s class every year, as Leprich was “amazing.” Being an artist, he dealt with lots of criticism about not being able to find a job, or getting a real job, but Leprich was the teacher who never gave up on him. ACHS was the place that ignited his flame. He felt she gave him a “million 2nd chances” that have forged the passion he put forth in the following years.

Following high school, Freeman attended CLC and took apprenticeship at tattoo and graphic design shops in the area, leading to his one true obsession: graphic design. The first step in his path to success was the purchase of a printing press. Immediately after seeing how he could incorporate all his passions into one, he realized now was the time to take a step forward. Taking a risk, he began his company, Fuzion Custom Apparel, right here in Antioch.

When he bought the first few machines on a whim, he felt he should stay close to home, which worked in his favor. Living in a unique town, Freeman dealt with community clients who were passionate about keeping business in the community. Antioch was the perfect place for him to set up for success.

Freeman took what he learned from teachers and mentors such as Leprich and began a life for himself.  In 2013, he molded what he learned into a successful company that provides specialized artwork and design for people worldwide. From seeing his designs on TV and in countries around the world, the hard work proved to be one of best decisions of his life.

Being in Antioch and becoming a Sequoit has made all the difference for this Alumnus, and his success is one example of how powerful growing up in a town such as Antioch is. Many are tired of seeing the same people and driving past the same railroad tracks every day, but it’s important to recognize the support system present in this town. The community wants people to succeed, and as long as hard work is put in and desires are followed, Antioch will help form future successors. The teachers and adults who advocate for student success are the same that helped inspire Freeman to achieve his dreams. Freeman believes it’s important to not settle; to do what you love to make you happy for the rest of your life. This small town’s big success is one example of the power of the ample town of Antioch.